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Last updated
04-21-19 04:44 PM
San Diego Local Weather
San Diego Senior Softball
Dave Hunt
San Diego, California
Dana field, Friday January 18, 11am
Saturday, January 26
Another Dana Miracle
Cabrillo Field, Friday, January 18, 3pm

No, it was not Sal going six for six with two home runs or Chuck throwing a shutout.  After a week of heavy rains, the Dana Middle School threw us a nasty "slider" by setting up a snow slide down the right field line on Friday, less than 24 hours before our games.   "Oh, it will melt tonight," said the clueless teacher as all of four kids partook in the lame slide.  Wiser heads knew otherwise. 

The choices were clear - send out an emergency call to all Dana players who had snow shovels or find another place to play.  Living right above the Carbrillo Recreation Center and their softball field, Dave Hunt went to the office late Friday morning to see if their field was available the next day.  Yes, it was!  And the nice people there even moved our Dana permit to Cabrillo.  Of course, that was not enough - the infield still had puddles (but no snow).   Once again, Norm to the rescue.

Just a short time later, using his newly reconditioned three-wheeler, Norm (Mr. Plow) dragged the infield for hours on Friday afternoon so that it could be dry enough for Saturday's games.  Dave contaced the managers who got the word out.  One former manager (who will remain nameless) said, "oh, just cancel the games, half the players won't show up."   Not!  In fact, every team had at least ten of their roster players for the games, even though the games had to be started 30 minutes earlier than normal. 

 The following Saturday, back at Dana, Norm was presented with his own customized jerseys, one for each Dana team color, in honor of all his great service to Dana.   Do I hear Petco Park calling?



Dana field, Saturday, January 26, 10am

Sunday, July 22
Purple wins 3 playoff games to advance to the quarter finals - XMen beware!

Going into the final week of the regular season, Purple had won but one game.  Manager Ron Chesebro, having led Purple Haze to a first place finish the season before, wondered where it all went wrong.  Would he be remembered in the long line of famous Purple Haze managers as the one who went from first to worst?

Facing the 8th place Green team in the last regular season game, managers Ron and Norm decided to make it a playoff elimination game with the winner going into the first week of the regular 8 team playoffs and the loser sitting out the next two weeks.  Purple prevailed 20-16 to advance.

The following week, surveying the 5th place finisher Red team, Ron told Sal, "you're my pitcher for the whole game unless you keel over."  At 87 years old, Sal had seen it all and simply shrugged and looked for a comfortable spot on the bench to rest until the visiting Purple took the field. Amazingly, Purple started strong, putting up 5 and 5 in the first two innings.  Followed by the more usual 0 - 0 in the 3rd and 4th.  Surely, they would fold, as they had so many other times this season.   Midway through the next-to-last seventh inning, Sal, having walked a few batters, motioned to Ron that he was done and it was time for John Church to take over.   John did just that, walking almost every batter he faced as Red closed the gap.  But was there a secret strategy involved?

On to the last inning and Purple took a five run lead into the bottom of the 8th.  And who took the mound (well, actually Dana has no pitching mound, but it sounds better anyway) for the fateful final inning?  Well, none other than Sal, now rested after having John delay the previous inning with all those walks.  Perhaps the wise old Ron Chesebro had planned this all along.  Purple held on and won the game 23-19.

Now they would face Light Blue, led by "I've never seen a pitch I couldn't hit over the fence" Kevin O'Reilly, and their ace-in-the-hole "spring chicken" pitcher Chuck Eskins, some six years younger than Sal.  With only moments to rest, surely it was curtains for the now exhausted Sal.   Would John Church start the game as pitcher? In the first inning Purple scored 4 runs.  But then put up what would be the only scoreless half inning of the game by either team. As Purple took the field, Sal slowly ambled out to the pitcher's spot.  How long could he go?  At 87, most of his peers were watching the game from heaven, wondering the same thing.

Light Blue started strong, matching Purple with a 4 spot in the first, and then adding 2 more to take a 6-4 lead after two innings.    But something had changed in the makeup of the Purple team.  Having averaged less than 13 runs per game in the regular season, their bats were rejuvenated.  Purple put up two 5s in the 3rd and 4th!  They were not done!  Alas, Light Blue did the same to once again take a two run lead, 16-14 after four innings.  

Time was running long in the game, mostly due to the large number of pitches that were not strikes.  The umpire decided to make the 5th inning a one and sit inning, assuming that "this and one more" would occur during the 5th, making this a six inning affair.  Or, more likely, the umpire figured a seven inning game might require the first time use of the AED.

Purple still managed three runs in the 5th.  In their half of the 5th, Light Blue wore out Sal again, who departed for the return of John "I never faced a batter I couldn't walk" Church.  Was the switcheroo strategy being employed again or was Sal really done for the day?  This time, John crossed up a few Light Blue hitters and held them to four runs.  It was now 20-17 in favor of Light Blue.   The open inning awaited.  The crowd (well, actually a small handful of spectators with nothing better to do on a Saturday afternoon) became anxious.

Purple batted and batted and batted.   Even John Collins, having iced his shoulder after tripping and falling earlier in the game, batted, knowing to depart the game would mean an out would be recorded, ending their rally.   When the dust and dirt had cleared, Purple had scored 7 runs to take a 24-20 lead.   Who would pitch for Purple in the bottom of the sixth?

Well of course any nincompoop would know that Sal would once again trudge to the mound but how many would fathom that he did so without assistance?  Light Blue was not done.  They scored two and loaded the bases with two outs with Chuck Eskins due up.  Chuck and his eagle eyes were not to be trifled with.  He drew a walk and in came the 3rd run of the inning.  Now it was 24-23 and the tying run was a tantalizing 70 feet away.  But it was Purple's day.  The batter grounded to 3rd and it was an easy step-on-the-bag to conclude this epic game.   Remarkably, with the wind blowing out, not a single home run was hit.

Next week, Purple faces the Cardinal X-Men in the semifinal game.  What further surprises await?


Sunday, March 11
Players Celebrate At Harbortown Pub
We held our 2nd post season party after the playoff finals.   No one thought we would even get the games in due to the forecast of continuous rain.   Check out the complete set of pictures (click on photos, and then the March2018 folder).  Thanks to Jeff Davdison for taking the pictures!

Thursday, November 9
XXX-Men Win the 2017 Summer-Fall Season Playoffs

No one imagined the overstacked XXX-Men, superbly and masterfully drafted by the legendary manager Coach Mackey, would not win the league this past season. How does he always get two first rounders in the draft? And as expected the XXX-Men started the season with no fanfare, but marched through the start of the season, scoring at will and demoralizing their opponents. Coach Mackey wondered out loud one day, “just how many times does the letter X fit on one trophy”. With that in mind the XXX-Men decided to allow other teams to bask in the fleeting glory of winning a few games.

So with the Dead Arm pitcher, who took a Comebacker to the forearm and bloodied up the dugout, the XXX-Men, let the banjo, dying quail, Texas League, hitting teams have a chance. (Good to have an ER Dr. on your team, thanks Lennie) And so the cunning well-managed XXX-Men purposely slid to 7th place in the Dana League. All the other Skippers in the league, are thinking, “the XXX-Men aren’t what they used to be.” One game just to show how unthreatening the XXX-Men were, the Manager was INTENTIONALY WALKED FOR THE CYCLE. But Rules Commissioner, shortstop, Mick Parker pointed out that the last one was only a single because it was the last inning.

During this stretch; Jim “there’s a hole in my basket” Smyth, Dave ‘I stepped in something” Stanforth, Leroy “email is just a fad” LaRoche, Bill Pietz, and Norm “grasshopper” Young, were letting so many flyballs drop in the outfield, it looked like a Texas hail storm. The revolving door at 1st base with, Ron “grunt” Damschen, Mike “loud and proud” Cannon, Lennie “doc” Schulkind, and “grasshopper” made real, the phrase “WHO’S ON FIRST?” The rest of the infield was as solid as an ice pond in Palm Springs. With Kevin “let’s see how far I can hit this one” O’Reilly, Mick ‘Let’s see how far over the first baseman I can throw” Parker, and Ralph “I’ve never played on a championship team before” Reyes, manning the bases, it was up to the pitcher to hold the scores down. The Ace, came with everything, chin music, beanballs, brushbacks, change-ups, heat, high cheese, junk, knuckleball… he punched out and plunked more batters than Bob Gibson.

But in this era of “everybody is a winner” and we all make the playoffs, the XXX-Men were right where they wanted to be, in the “Fall Classic” as an underdog! The bats came alive, nearly every player on the team had at least one round tripper. In the 2nd playoff game the XXX-Men’s clean-up hitter, Kevin, hit a tater, four bagger, frozen rope, off Dave “the human rain delay” Hunt, toward the Short porch in left, that has not landed yet. Leaving the XXX-Men to play without their slugger for the next game, against the mistakenly hopeful Blues Brothers that had stolen first place in the regular season. It was brutal and there were contentious moments and a near Rhubarb over a bat, pointed out too late by Pat “ smokeless” Canney. The XXX-Men, true to their plan, overcame that and were in the championship game, with their five tool slugger back in the lineup against the baby Powder Blues. How many blues are there in a rainbow anyway?

So the XXX-Men win another championship. Norm ‘grasshopper” Young has been schooled and mentored well by the master. He will be out on his own now with a team that will have to face the new X-Men, and wonder if his master taught him “EVERYTHING”, or not.

Blues Bros Summer2017.jpg
Monday, October 23

The Blues Brothers were the punching bag for the DANA League early in the season, and as of September 9th had a dismal record of 0 - 6 - 1. In week 8 the team engineered an invitation for their manager to go to the mountaintop, and edged out Tapia’s Dodgers by a run while “JAKE” (aka Dennis Atchley) was communing with John Belushi.

Amazingly, the team then won 6 straight games, vaulting from the depths of 7th place to 1st. Saturday, it was all on the line against the Cleveland Maroon Squirrels, and a loss would have dropped the team into a two way tie for 3rd place.

Indeed, it looked as though this was exactly what would happen, as the Squirrels twice led by 8 runs, and led by 4 at the beginning of the last frame. There, Dave Larson tripled, followed by hits by Frank Polese, Lowell Waxman and Jeff Berman, leaving the winning run at third.

Roger Pederson strode to the plate exuding confidence acquired over decades of playing softball. He promptly slashed a single and the winning run scored, leading to the usual bedlam on the field.

Beleaguered manager Dennis “JOLIET JAKE” Atchley said “These guys never stopped believing in themselves, and earned the league title as a result.” Often criticized for loading up with ringers in the draft, Atchley deftly obtained the services of Randy Hagan in this game, who went 3 for 4 with a home run.

The Blues Brothers look forward to the playoffs and another trophy to go with their league championship trophy. The championship also reversed Atchley’s initial decision to resign from managing, which none of his teammates resisted. Nothing succeeds like success.

Monday, March 13
The Most Interesting Team in Dana Senior Softball...

Rarely has a Dana Sr. Softball team been so dominate as the X-MEN were this season. From the very start of the season all the way through, they proved to be the preeminent team on the field. Winning both the league title as well as the season ending Tourney, has secured the X-MEN as one of the truly elite in Dana Senior Softball. While scoring 293 runs was assuredly remarkable, their defense only allowing 13 runs per game is unequaled in Dana Softball history (fact check pending). They only had to bat 3 times to win most games.

Little is known as to why the X-MEN perform so well. Is it the superior coaching and managing by Joe Mackey and Norm Young? Such leadership is truly lacking in our era. Or is it the wizardry of the Cardinal jersey that transforms these seemingly mediocre players, at draft time, into a team of super heroes on the softball field?

Coach Mackey (who obviously penned this article) is self-quoted as saying,” first CIF Champs, now Dana Champs, is this the Year of Joe or what? I ‘m going to Disneyland.

Sunday, February 26
X-Men win the 2016-2017 Fall-Winter Regular Season
The Cardinal X-Men, strong all season, won the championship going away with a 2 1/2 game finish over the 2nd place Gray Gravediggers.   The X were 10-1-1 and scored a league high 242 runs.  Equally impressive, the X-Men did it pretty much themselves, rarely drafting anayone during the entire season.  Asked about his secrets for drafting such a strong team, manager Joe Mackey replied, "I just pretend like it's football and pick players who can go both ways!"

Saturday, October 29
Purple Haze wins the 2016 summer league playoffs

Purple Haze won its second-in-a-row season ending playoff champiosnhip, defeating the Red Diehards in a close game.  Final score was 18-15 with Red scoring five in the last inning to close the gap.  In the semi-final games, Purple outlasted the Royal Blue Dodgers 17-13 and Red held on against Gray, winning by one run.  The final out was recorded as Gray had the tying run on 3rd.  In the earlier game, which was extremely close, Purple and Royal Blue were tied after the 4th, 6th, and 7th innings.  Purple scored four in the 8th while the Dodgers got but one.   Purple got two more in the open inning but the Dodgers could only add one more to close out the game.   This makes three seasons in a row where the team that finished 3rd in the regular season ended up winning the playoffs!


Friday, October 21
Red Diehards win the 2016 Summer Season Championship!
With convincing wins in their final five games, the Red Diehards outlasted the Royal Blue Dodgers to claim first place for the 2016 Summer Season.  Although both teams were tied with 10-4 records, in the two head-to-head games, which they split, Red outscored Royal Blue to gain the overall edge.

Friday, August 19
Robert Brown celebrates his 72nd birthday!
Beloved Dana player, Robert Brown, celebrated his 72nd birthday at his home in Valencia Park with family and friends.  Robert is taking this season off to deal with medical issues but he is looking forward to returning soon and almost everyone, except perhaps opposing pitchers, will be happy to see him back on the field!

July4-2016 (1280x897).jpg
Monday, July 4
July 4 2016 Celebrated with Dana Family Softball!
33 Dana players and their family/friends turned out for two fun scrimmages to celebrate July 4.  The first game ended in a tie as Rich Tapia drove in the final run before being thrown out at home by Pat Canney.  Pat had previously thrown out Rich's son Riche at third base, making up for his otherwise dismal performance at the plate.  The second game ended after about six innings due to inclement weather, with Dave Tessmer's team pulling out a narrow victory due to solid hitting by Steve Robinson's daughter in law, Jillian, who managed two doubles to the fences in left.

Saturday, July 2
Purple Haze wins the spring league playoffs

In the first semifinal game against the Red Diehards, Purple Haze came to bat in the open inning ninth down 10-6. Manager Dave Hunt told his team, “everyone hits.” Having only scored one run on the previous six innings, it was mostly wish. But this is senior softball.

After opening walks to Rob and Dave, the next eight hitters got hits, most solid, some error aided. Purple had batted around and score seven runs to take the lead! But they were not done. The next seven batters all got hits their second time up in the ninth to make it 16 on base in a row. Purple had scored seven more and was now up by ten runs, 20-10. Red managed a couple runs in their half of the ninth but the final score was 20-12.

In the 2nd semifinal game it was Royal Blue vs X-Men. It was a close game for the first half but then Royal Blue kept scoring while the X-Men stopped hitting. Final score was 22-11 and for the second season in a row the top two season finishers did not win a playoff game.

The championship game thus pitted Royal Blue vs Purple Haze. A coin flip determined home team which was won by Purple.

It was a close, but low scoring game throughout, 5-2 Purple after two, 5-3 after four, and 7-5 Purple after six. Purple added two more in the 7th and then the Dodgers put across three in the 8th. Purple then scored three of their own to take a 12-8 lead into the ninth. And that would be the final score.

Congratulations to playoff champions Purple Haze!

Saturday, July 2
The XMen win the Spring regular season
Strong all year, the XMen put away Purple Haze in the next-to-last game of the season to take first place with one week to go.   Purple was only a 1/2 game back.  But the X took care of business, winning their final game to clinch first place for the season with a 10-3-1 record.   The XMen had a fantastic run differential of 57, giving up only 198 runs all season.

Wednesday, June 1
Memorial Day 2016 Celebrated with Dana Family Softball!

40 Dana players and their families came out to share fun, food, and most of all softball for two games on Memorial Day.

In the 9:30 game, manager Rich Tapia stacked his team with both his son and Norm Young’s three sons. They easily dispatched Pat Canney’s team, despite the solid center field defense from Brian Lamb’s daughter Teagan. Dave Hunt and Dax Young each had two home runs for the winning team.

In the second game, a more methodical choice of teams resulted in a close game with Dave Tessmer’s team down only two runs in the final innings. Rich Tapia, who snuck into the second game, was the last batter and he came through, driving in the winning run to send Randy Gage’s team to a one run defeat. For the most part, the women in these two games, Angela Tessmer-Wagner, Megan Church, Krista Rask, and Jillian Robinson, out-played the men.

Subsequently, Rules Commissioner Norm Young was besieged with requests to lower the legal age for women wanting to play at Dana to 19. We all eagerly await his answer.

Photos of many of the family members who played with us today are on the web site under Photos – MemorialDay2016.

The league will consider having another set of family games on Monday July 4.

Saturday, April 9
Chuck Eskins Leads His Navy Blue Team To Victory!
The winless Navy Blue team was missing their number two and three draft choices (and Pepe) so things did not look good for them.  No pressure for Chuck - he merely was on base all five at bats with four walks and a solid single.  And pitched a stellar game, including catching an infield pop up.   Final score - Navy Blue 19, Green 17.  Way to go Chuck!

The Red Diehards win the 2015/2016 Season Playoffs
Saturday, March 5
Red Diehards and Squirrels go from last to best!
Purple Haze are the 2015/2016 regular season champions

                At various points in the season, both the Diehards and Squirrels occupied last place in the standings.  A contoversial mid-season assignment of Randy Gage gave the Red team new life and they surged to a 3 way tie for first place by season's end.  Meanwhile, the Squirrels finally installed Joe Juhasz at shortstop and he helped anchor a late season comeback as the Squirrels finished 5th.

 In week 1 of the playoffs,  the Squirrels beat Navy Blue 13-11 and then walloped the Grey Ghosts 17-9 to advance to the 2nd week of playoffs.  The X-Men, winners of the first playoff game in Week 1, fell to the Diehards 14-5 who then also advanced to the final week.

Game 1 of the semifinals pitted the Diehards against the Greenhuts.   Green got out to a quick 5-0 lead but lost their early momentum while Red came to life.  Final score Red 18 Green 8.   In the other semifinal game, the Squirrels scored 10 in their first two at bats.  Purple answered with just 2, but then held the Squirrels scoreless in the next two innings.  Alas, Purple could only peck away and found themsleves still down by six in the bottom of the 8th.  They went scoreless again, the Squirrels added two more and it was just too much.  Final score 19-13 as the Squirrels won their 3rd playoff game in a row.  Could they make it four?

In the championship game, the Squirrels won the toin coss and elected to be home team.  It would be a fateful choice as for the third game in a row, the visiting team would prevail.  The game was close for a while but then the Diehards pulled away while the Squirrels seemed to go into a late winter hibernation.   Final score, Red Diehards 27, Squirrels 16.

Sunday, February 28
Paul Nettinga shows his true colors!
In week 1 of the playoffs, star player Paul Nettinga from Purple Haze agreed to sub in for the Red Diehards. Trying to blend in, he donned his favorite red outfit. Somehow, Red still managed to win their game. 

Saturday, March 5
Final standings for the Winter 2015/2016 Season - our closest finish ever!
With two weeks to go in the season, any team could have finished first OR last.  In the end, three teams tied for first with Purple taking the honors due to having the best runs for/runs against result.   All in all, a very competitive season.  Congratulations to all!

Sunday, February 7
Week 12 (February 6) highlights courtesy of Joe Mackey

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. The weather was perfect for a great day of senior softball. With parity encompassing the ranks of the Dana Softball League this year, only 1.5 games separating first from worst. It was appropriate that the cellar dwelling Squirrels easily took down the once feared Bronx Bombers, in a 20 to 12 sleeper of a game. Then the current first place team Purple Haze flexed their muscle against the surprising high ranked Red Die Hards in a 37-13 squeaker of a game. The mid day game featured the much improved Gray Ghosts taking advantage of the aging Green Huts. Using all their extra talent acquired by Rule 5 mid-season drafts of All Stars Gray continues their clime from worst to near first defeating Green 26-18. While the afternoon session pitted the “where did they go?” X-men, in a crucial match to see if the once heralded X-Men could regain their X-lent form of early this season. Missing 4 of their first five draft choices, the X-Men showed the grit and gut it takes to be Champions, taking out the hapless Black Blitz 25-20.

Next week could decide who’s name is on the trophy when X-Men and Purple Haze collide to decide.

Panorama of field taken on Thursday January 7
Sunday, January 10
January 9 games saved thanks to a secret ingredient!
Field crew hard at work very early on Saturday January 9
Almost everyone thought that after four days of heavy rain we would NOT be playing softball on January 9th.  The first photo above is a panorama of the infield taken Thursday early morning while rain was still falling.  It tapered off and we had sun on Friday but there was standing water in a few spots.  Ron Chesebro volunteered to come out and work on the field.  He spent a few hours removing the water and raking places that needed to dry.   Early Saturday morning, a few of us came out and finished the job (photo immediately above).   What was the secret ingredient?  Six bags of kitty litter!   (Thanks to Norm Young for the suggestion).   The panorama below was taken around 7AM.   By mid morning the infield was completely dry.   But we had no problem playing even the 8:30am game.

Panorama taken at 7am on Saturday January 9

Saturday, December 12
Red has another exciting finish!
Down by 21 runs going into the lext to the last inning, it looked like the Diehards would do just that.   But they managed to get the maximum of five runs before a flip flop last inning.  The merciful Gray Ghosts also lived up to their name, seeming to disappear on defense as the Red boys scored 16 runs (13 with two outs!!) to take a two run lead.   The Ghosts came up and quickly tied the game and had runners on first and second and no outs.  It looked like Red's comeback would be for naught. The next hitter lined to left field.  Lyle Nielsen dropped the ball but nabbed Angel Garcia at 3rd base for the first out.  Then the next batter hit into a game ending double play.  Final score 35-35.

Sunday, December 6
Red Gets Their First Win - Purple No Longer Unefeated!
Three home runs by Randy Gage and Robert Brown powered the Diehards to their first win, dealing Purple Haze their first loss.  It was a close game from the start, with four lead changes and a final score of 21-18. Defensively, Red turned in three double plays, including a game ender.  Despite the loss, the Haze retain a one game lead over Black Blitz, the Green Huts, and the X-Men.

Saturday, November 28
The Squirrels have another thriller!
One week after a heart breaking 36-35 loss, the Squirrels came up in the bottom of the last inning down 8 runs.  A bit better than last week when they trailed by 12.  But this time they would score 8 to tie the game before even the 2nd out was made.  A single to short right center offered the chance for a win, but Randy Gage's one hop throw nabbed Ed Jernigan by a step for out number two.  A fly out by the next hitter and it was time for a handshake and a kiss to your sister.  Final score 27-27.  After four games the Squirrels lead the league in runs scored with 102.  But they also lead the league in runs given up with 105.  The Red team got off the schneid with the tie.

Sunday, November 22
Blitz & Squirrels combine for 71 runs in 7 innings!

Game highlight from Saturday November 21.

The Squirrels started off with a perfect 5 runs in each of their first four innings. Then the Blitz surged back to tie the game. In the open inning Blitz scored 12 to take a seemingly insurmountable lead. But the Squirrels did not give up and got the tying run base, scoring 11. Alas, they came up one short.

Friday, November 13
With sadness, we annouce the passing of John Ciccone

The league expresses its condolences to the Ciccone family on the passing of John on November 9. John was active not only in our league for many years, but in many others, including managing a baseball team.

Pete Gaskin knew John well and adds these words:

John was my Dana senior softball league manager for many seasons and a few more with the North County Baseball team - "Yankees'. His love of the game was complete. His devotion to excellence on the field was pervasive. An excellent left handed hitter who could use the whole field; he could be counted on in the clutch. As the Manager he never varied in tone or observation; you always knew what John wanted of his players.

During the months John was in a drug trial program we used to meet almost weekly for lunch at the Point Loma Fish Company. I got to see another side of John outside of baseball but we did talk a lot of baseball. He talked often and proudly of the accomplishments of his only child, Anthony, on the baseball diamond, in law school at PITT, the impending wedding plans. Always upbeat he took on the fight one day at a time. He never gave up. A personality trait that I will always remember and admire him for.

Wednesday, November 4
Purple takes first place in the Summer/Fall Season!
This blatant attempt of publicity is because we want to start adding Dana softball photos to the web site.   If you have some, please email them to Dave Hunt.

Sunday, November 8
John Rawlings leads his Black Blitz team to victory in week 1 play!

Our beloved John Rawlings showed us again this past Saturday why any team he plays on will be glad to have him.  John batted six times, starting with a double and then adding 4 singles and a walk for a perfect 6 for 6 on base percentage.  At 90 years young, John is an inspiration to us all!

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